Sunday 26 April 2009

The story of ALL870

I'll come onto the story of ALL870 in a bit. JF and I were ringing at Druridge this morning, setting the nets up from 0530. The first bird we saw on arriving was a barn owl hunting the dune backs and the first bird we heard was a gropper reeling - both year ticks (there were at least 5 groppers reeling at Druridge this morning).
On the first net round we extracted a willow warbler, nothing unusual about that. But this particular bird (ALL870) was no stranger to has been to Druridge before:

22nd May 2004 - ringed as an adult male at Druridge
4th June 2005 retrapped at Druridge
18th June 2006 retrapped at Druridge
18th May 2008 retrapped at Druridge
26th April 2009 retrapped at Druridge
So, this tiny little bird weighing only 9.2 grammes, has been to sub-Saharan Africa and back at least six times. I've always been fascinated by migration, but to think that this little bird has done this at least six times and has been caught in the same little strip of bushes in five of the last six years is truly mind-blowing!
We caught another willow warbler today ringed as an adult by Janet in June 2006.
We caught 18 birds in the nets this morning, 10 new ones and seven retraps and one control, a nice male sparrowhawk, which we have no photo's of cos some idiot trainee let it go (me!).
We caught this blackbird, which had an odd shaped bill. It wasn't suffering any harm from it as he was a little fatty, with a long wing (139mm) for blackbird, probably making him a bird from the continent, as our blackbirds wings are shorter than this.
Ringing totals
willow warbler 2 new, 2 retraps
reed bunting 1 new
blackbird 1 new
lesser whitethroat 1 new
robin 1 new
dunnock 3 new
wren 1 new, 3 retraps
chaffinch 2 retraps
sparrowhawk 1 control
female reed bunting
Remember the stonechats feeding their young mentioned? We found the nest today, containing 3 biggish young (and two cold eggs) so we ringed them too.

Stonechat chick

Other than what I've already mentioned, a whimbrel on the Budge fields and 4 wheatears were all of note.
90 barn owl
91 grasshopper warbler
92 lesser whitethroat


Warren Baker said...

I hope you got the details of that sprawk before it escaped you!

Ipin said...

Warren, We got the ring number which i s the most important thing and aged it, but then it got away :-(